#pmpsjf23 Reading Response Assignment

About the Reading Response Assignment

The Reading Response Assignment has three primary goals:

  1. to help students read course texts actively rather passively
  2. to help prepare students to an engaged in-class discussion
  3. to reflect on the texts and ask clarifying and illuminating questions

The assignment is informed by three Course Learning Objectives:

Objective 2. Critical Awareness of the Social Role of Media
Students will understand the history and context of the role that communication media (recording devices, music, lyrics, samples, videos, etc.) has played in social movements. Students will be able to articulate and critique the role media has historically played and currently plays in society.

Objective 3: Effective Communication
Students will understand the principles, practices, and ethics of effective media communication, in particular in terms of how it applies to social movements, society, and protest music.

Objective 4: Reflection
Students will develop their understanding of the important role of reflection during the reading and communication process.

Objective 5: Experimentation
Students will know what it feels like to step out of their comfort zones and take risks with their approaches to and understanding of popular music, protest, social justice, and audio creation and editing.

Reading Response Assignment Specifics

Reading responses will be completed in a GoogleDoc; Bill will share an individual GoogleDoc with each student. Reading responses will have two sections, the Response and the Reflection:

  1. The Response: The response should be 275 to 300 words long and address the text in ways that help illuminate important points. Do not merely write what you think about the texts. Rather, work through the ideas within the text.
  2. The Reflection: In 75 – 100 words, discuss how the text(s) challenged you as a reader (or viewer) and list 2 or 3 questions informed by the readings. The questions can be for clarification purposes, such as, “What did the author mean by so and so on page 12?” Or, they can be application, such as, “How might we apply the author’s theory to what we are seeing in social media?” Or, for open-ended, such as, “What are the ethical implications of what the author discusses?” These questions could inform parts of class discussion.

Initially, Bill will provide prompts for The Response section of the assignment. See the Course Calendar for those prompts. Use care when composing your responses; make sure to check your spelling and grammar. Use paragraphs. Use author’s names and make sure to refer to the author with the correct pronoun. Cite page numbers when quoting and/or paraphrasing. Your responses will only be seen by Bill.

Even when you don’t complete a Reading Response, you are still required to complete all assigned readings or texts. If it becomes apparent that students are not doing the work, I will update the assignment to make them all required.

Due Dates (updated 9/8/23)

Each student is required to complete TEN EIGHT total reading responses (out of 19 possible).  The FIRST FIVE THREE ARE REQUIRED so I can ensure everyone is doing them well. Select FIVE from the remaining due dates. Because I know schedules are so variable right now, I have provided more opportunities for your optional responses than usual. I hope doing so allows you to complete them when you are less busy.

Required Responses

  • 9/6: Reading Response 1 Due
  • 9/11: Reading Response 2 Due
  • 9/13: Reading Response 3 Due
  • 9/18: Reading Response 4 Due
  • 9/20: Reading Response 5 Due

Choose FIVE of the Remaining Optional Responses:

  • 9/25: Reading Response 6 Due
  • 9/27: Reading Response 7 Due
  • 10/2: Reading Response 8 Due
  • 10/4: Reading Response 9 Due
  • 10/9: Reading Response 10 Due
  • 10/11 : Reading Response 11 Due
  • 10/23: Reading Response 12 Due
  • 10/25: Reading Response 13 Due
  • 11/6: Reading Response 14 Due
  • 11/8: Reading Response 15 Due
  • 11/13: Reading Response 16 Due
  • 11/15: Reading Response 17 Due
  • 12/4: Reading Response 18 Due
  • 12/6: Reading Response 19 Due

Please see the Course Calendar for any changes to these due dates.

Late Discussion and Design Journal entries will be handled in the following manner:

  • 1 – 3 days late: -5pts
  • 4 – 7 days late:  -10pts
  • 8 – 14 days late -15pts
  • 15 or more days late: -20pts


Each response will be graded on the basis of 50 points — 30 for the response, 20 for the reflection. Bill will add grades to each student’s GoogleDoc. The lowest grade from the nine completed will be removed when calculating your overall Reading Response grade. The Reading Response grade is 25% of your grade.


45 – 50pts
Thorough, nuanced, insightful, and organized discussion of the text(s). Connections made to other parts of the class. Prompt directly addressed in Response. Reflection contains incisive questions, reflections, and discussion of challenges. Overall the Response and Reflection significantly exceed expectations.

40 – 44pts
Interesting, engaging, and thoughtful discussion of the texts. Prompt directly addressed in Response. Reflection contains discerning questions, reflections, and discussion of challenges. Overall the Response and Reflection generally meet or exceed expectations.

35 – 39pts
Generally thoughtful but slightly disorganized discussion of the texts. Prompt not fully addressed in Response. Reflection contains some questions, reflections, and discussion of challenges. Overall the Response and Reflection are below expectations.

34pts and below
At this level two things could have happened. A thoroughly engaging Response but no Reflection. Or, a generally disorganized Response that does not address the prompt and does not engage the texts. An okay Reflection. Overall the Response and Reflection are significantly below expectations.

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